Former world No. 4 Jelena Dokic has spoken out against body shaming after offensive social media posts commenting on her weight.
In the year The 2000 Wimbledon semi-finalist is working for Channel 9 on the Australian Open broadcast team.
After appearing on TV, Dokic said she was bombarded with negative and offensive comments.
Dokic said in a brutal rant posted on Instagram.
“The most common comment is, ‘What’s wrong with her, she’s so big’?” Dokic wrote. “I’ll tell you what happened, I was finding a way and surviving and fighting. And it doesn’t matter what I’m doing and what happened because the size shouldn’t matter.
She added: “I am here, fighting for all those who are being abused, humiliated there.
“I can’t change the world, but I try to call out this behavior, use my platform for good and support other people and give others a voice and make others feel less alone. I’m scared.”
In her 2018 autobiography Unbreakable, Dokic detailed the physical, verbal and mental abuse she suffered from her father and coach Demar.
In a column for The Age, Dokic called out trolls who make life hell for others.
She wrote: “When we get up in the morning, most of us check our phones. Try to detoxify the day as much as possible, “Smartphones” now make modern life easier, especially when we are working.
I’ve been working at the Australian Open for the past two weeks, and I’ve been waking up to abuse that, no matter how many times I’ve been attacked, it’s not easy to read.
Dokic shared some horrific examples of messages she received and comments made on social media.
She added: “Even though I try to work on my opinion, in my interviews, my reporting on tennis, my weight makes me not have an opinion for a lot of trolls – I should just stop eating and be the target of their darkness.” and evil abuse.
“It’s not luck. It’s not who I am. I’m stronger than it all. I’m a survivor.”
“My father has been mentally, emotionally and physically abusing me since I was six years old. I was bullied by someone who supposedly cared for me for two decades. I played tennis. I suffered from PTSD. Depression. Anxiety. In the year In 2006 it all got so big that I thought about taking my own life.
“Things like this are hard for any poor soul to deal with, but when you’re in the public eye – whether you want to be or not – it makes it almost impossible to be honest about what you’re going through.”
Dokic said she is proud to be able to give survivors a voice.
“When I left tennis and wrote my book, I learned that there is strength in being vulnerable. When fully open. The day my book came out was the best day of my life. The weight I was carrying suddenly fell off my shoulders. My truth was there.
I soon realized that there are many women who suffer like me. Various details. The same truths. And sharing my vulnerability was giving them strength. A community of protection, shared experience, grief, but above all hope.
“Women have said that I have given them hope and made them feel less alone because of domestic violence, depression, anxiety, abuse and neglect. Thank you for having the courage to share my story in a public space. They thanked me for me because they had no voice.
“And then as I saw it came a responsibility to keep the community going, so I started being online and sharing my experiences in a little cyber pocket and giving hope to the lost. I can help people realize that they are not alone in their suffering, and that you can get through anything with strength like I did.”
Dokic reaffirmed her commitment to combating online violence.
She continued: “But the online world is very different from writing a book. The trolls will come for you.
“They make the war harder to fight. No matter how many times you read it, it will make you sad. When you are as thick skinned as I am, when someone tells you to kill yourself, you wonder how a human being can conceive of such thoughts and how society allows platforms to share such thoughts, without police arrests and arrests.
“But that’s not my focus, my focus is helping survivors know there is hope. I did it and so will they. Because we have each other.
“My focus is on taking a strong stand against online bullying and being an example to the next generation of young men and women who are entering a world where online bullying is too big a part of their lives to navigate.
“I want to encourage and teach them about what’s not okay and how to deal with it. I also want to raise this question: How can we hold people accountable for this behavior with the authorities and force social media platforms to take better measures to eradicate this activity?
“Until then, I’ll wake up in the morning, check my phone like most people, maybe have a quick look at the weather and then head to the Australian Open to do what I love.
“Please let me do it in peace.”
of International Association for the Prevention of Suicide And Friends around the world If you are affected by any of the issues covered in this story, please provide contact information for emergency centers around the world.